Years ago I hacked my way through the undergrowth on the railway embankment from the footpath which used to run alongside Sir James Altham school to access this gem. Difficult now due to the more secure fencing. The photo is of a coal marker post Type B and is a grade 2 listed object-described by British heritage as follows.
City of London coal Duty Marker. 1851. Cast by Falkirk Iron Co. Ltd.
Square stone base with chamfered top to cast-iron square with four
open panels and a moulded cornice above which rises to a short obelisk. The whole measures at one and a half to two metres high. Marked extent of coal duty, originally 20 miles circumference from General Post Office, moved in 1861 to point on boundary of Metropolitan Police District.
Duties were due on any coal passing these posts – I’m sure David Reidy will be along with some more details on these fascinating objects. Smaller types are situated in Oxhey Lane, Oxhey Drive and Batchworth Heath. Older pictures show this obelisk brightly painted in white with the railway embankments clear of all undergrowth, necessary to prevent fires in the old steam train days.